Happy Friday! Your Friday is my Monday, and this schedule has given me a whole new outlook on Fridays... and Mondays. So as many of you are likely using these links to procrastinate before you escape the daily grind for yet another weekend of freedom, I'm waist deep in it. And I hate you. (Just kidding, I love you all. Yes, even you.) Now, some links, news, and notes on the Colorado Rockies and the rest of Major League Baseball:
Yeah, this is a stretch (Sporting News even admits as much), but it would be fun to think about Yoenis Cespedes hitting 97 bombs and 129 doubles in 2016 as a member of the Rockies. To get there in your mind, though, you'd have to forget that the Rox must first dump Jose Reyes on some poor organization, eat a lot of money in that deal, and make an important decision on Carlos Gonzalez ... as well as the fact that Cespedes is going to get a pay day, and does nothing to address the Rockies' two biggest needs (pitching, and the bench). Not gonna happen. But fun to think about!
We've had young Cameron Goeldner recapping the Arizona Fall League for a few weeks now, so he's all over this All-Star news (both Raimel Tapia and Kyle Freeland are on the team), but this link serves as your reminder. On Saturday (like, TOMORROW!), the AFL's Fall Stars Game will be televised live at 6:00 p.m. MT on MLB.com and MLB Network. I know I'll be tuning in, because what's a Saturday night when there's baseball on, anyways?
If you thought there's no shot for Cespedes to come to Colorado, just imagine how little of a chance the Rockies have in landing Zack Greinke! (Zero. A zero percent chance.) Nevertheless, it's important to keep up with the goings-on of division opponents, and now that Greinke has opted out of his contract — and apparently the Giants might be a good fit (!) — things are going to get interesting on the Left Coast. Also, Kirk Gibson. Hmm...
There is only one prediction here for the Rockies, and that's... Mike Napoli. MIKE NAPOLI?! REALLY, GUYS?! Funny story: all summer, I helped a buddy of mine co-host his Boston Red Sox podcast. He's from south Boston and has the
worst best accent I've ever heard. He'd end every show with the words "Free Tom Brady, see you guys next week." Seriously. (Honestly, he's a great dude, really salt of the earth.)
Anyways, doing that made me watch the Red Sox a lot this summer. They gave up on Napoli in the middle of the year for a reason. He's... not very good. And he's limited defensively, which will only be exposed more on a National League roster. I'd rather let Ben Paulsen do his thing in a low-pressure season and figure out if we have a utility 1B/OF guy hanging around (Kyle Parker?) for match-ups, than write any number of checks to Mike Napoli.
More free agent predictions, this time from Baseball Prospectus! The Rockies are supposedly only in on two guys here... Dioner Navarro and Chris Young (the pitcher).
Hey, on a related note: if Purple Row did some kind of series in the next month profiling maybe 10-15 free agents the Rockies might/could/should attempt to acquire, would that be something that would interest you?
The MLB Players' Association lists 139 free agents ready to negotiate beginning tomorrow, including exactly two from the Rockies (Kendrick and Justin Morneau). Who do you like?
Personally, I'm a Wei-Yin Chen man. He'd be a bit pricey, but not unrealistic pricey like Greinke, or David Price, or Johnny Cueto. He's put together a couple of decent seasons in Baltimore. He's in that second tier of free agent starters that are still pretty damn good, but not completely unlikely to consider the Rockies. Acquiring a player like that might do wonders for a club that might actually compete in 2017 and beyond. Of course, his agent is Scott Boras, so who the hell knows.
Casey Light bemoans the lack of Rockies' payroll commitments short of Reyes and Gonzalez, making his pitch to sign Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, and Nolan Arenado to more substantial deals as they roll through arbitration. I can get behind that with Nolan (especially considering this piece of news), but I'd argue DJ and Charlie may play better as trade chips assuming they can help the Rockies return some kind of decent young pitching depth. There are a lot of ways to skin the cat, though, and if the Rockies want to win (sometime) soon, they're probably going to have to commit to a group of players one way or another.
James Keating takes a look at Brandon Barnes over at Rox Pile (my former home!) and argues Barnes may well make the Rockies' opening day roster, even despite the general lack of offensive production in 2015. Barnes hasn't developed into the type of player the Houston Astros probably thought he was going to be, but he may find a job next season as a relatively cheap fourth/fifth outfielder, especially on a unit that skews predominantly left-handed.
Kyle Kendrick's decision to change agents is based off a report on Twitter, and comes just after the struggling starter officially declared free agency for 2016. His new agency isn't going to bring him back to Denver (man, I hope not), but honestly, despite as much as he struggled in 2015, Kyle deserves the best next year. He never publicly complained about his lot in life or the team last summer, he worked back diligently from a late season injury instead of giving up and throwing in the towel early, and he was phenomenal in the community.
Guys like that deserve good things to come their way. When Kendrick goes 12-10 with a 4.10 ERA for Miami or somebody in 33 starts next season — including an inevitable eight-inning four-hitter in a win against the Rockies — I'll be the happiest guy about the right-handed pitcher landing on his feet.
Many of you likely saw this post from PR community member Franchise26 earlier this week, but if you didn't, it's a long and beautiful journey through fandom that is well worth the time. I love having fan perspectives and raw emotions right here on the site, because it gives such a different angle from the stuff we write and the thoughts we have that so often get repetitive.
A lot of this stuff is fairly obvious, though this post does go very specific about one possible free agent target for Colorado this winter: Matt Wieters. That'd be quite a surprise to me, considering Tom Murphy appears to be the guy learning for the future and Nick Hundley is clearly the incumbent starter. Of course, I suppose Wieters could play elsewhere like... first base? (He's only played 26 innings at first base in his entire career.) Yeah, Matt Wieters likely won't be a Rockie unless a lot of things change this winter.
Sad stuff happening in Albuquerque tomorrow; Stu Walker, who was the Topes' PA announcer since their creation in 2003 passed away on Monday after a battle with cancer. Kudos to the Isotopes for holding an event, and if you're a baseball fan in the Albuquerque area and free tomorrow (Saturday, November 6), it might be worth the time to head out.
The Grand Junction Rockies will open their 2016 season on June 17 at home. They announced the release of their schedule at that link, but they don't actually appear to have it on the website yet, though (at least that I can find!). That is... strange. They've got this version of the schedule, but that's kind of brutal to read through. They've also listed out their home schedule on Facebook.
Hey, by the way, if you haven't read Drew Creasman's piece about the baby Rox and player development, you absolutely should do that right now. There are some great quotes in that article.